What is the value of information? What about the value of personal information? For advertisers, there is nothing more valuable … and they are willing to pay great sums for it. The more they know about you, the easier it is to persuade you to buy whatever they are selling. On the one hand, the more others know about me, the better they can tailor their offerings to my particular wants and desires … which is great for me as a consumer. On the other hand, I don’t want people snooping, prying, or baiting me for my personal information. How do we keep a healthy balance in this age of information and immediate gratification? I don’t pretend to have the answers … But I have a good idea about what the future might hold for us.
According to a recent Neilsen survey, the average person spends about triple the time on social media than they do with email. 23% of online time is spent on social networking. To be sure, in the IT industry, these numbers are surely different … at ITW we live and breath our days in Outlook. Email is the fibre of our business and interteam communication. But the general insight about the growing role of social media remains. Now, the deeply committed Facebookies will no doubt claim this as a victory for Web 2.0 … a symbol that social networking is the most virtuous way to stay connected and in touch with friends, family, and colleagues. I’m not so sure they should be breaking out champagne and toasting the new world order just yet.
Facebook doesn’t. But you should.